The latest samples taken a couple of days ago from the Animas River and analyzed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show the river has returned to pre-event levels heavy metal and pH levels, said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer of the CDPHE.
The announcement was made Tuesday on a tour with Gov. John Hickenlooper at a fish hatchery in Durango.
Hickenlooper said he's disappointed the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released an estimated 3 million gallons of mine wastewater from the Gold King Mine into the Animas River, but he's focused on the recovery effort and encouraged by test results that show pre-event levels of toxicity.
Wearing cowboy boots, Hickenlooper carefully walked down a steep dirt slope to the banks of the river Tuesday where Colorado Parks and Wildlife showed him a basket of fingerling fish that looked healthy after being placed in the river for six days. None of the 108 fish have died because of the river quality.